Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) have both focused on cutting costs and improving internal operations to maintain margins in the face of lower sales. Throughout the recession, Home Depot has maintained a slower expansion pace, a smaller workforce, and a focus on supply-chain improvement to keep costs down.
One of the great maxims of traders and Wall Street pros is to follow the "smart money."
To really understand a stock, you have to get down and dirty, break out your pencil, and really weigh the risk-versus-reward potential of the company you're following. I propose we take a closer look at the good and the bad at ViroPharma (Nasdaq: VPHM) to see whether the stock is a good value or a potential money pit.
The market's rally since the beginning of September has been broad-based and extremely profitable for investors. Many have pointed to quantitative easing and the subsequent dollar devaluation as a rationale for the gains, but there seems to be more at play. While the S&P 500 has tacked on more than 12% since the beginning of the rally, the Nasdaq Composite has been even more impressive, gaining 18%.
Health insurer UnitedHealth Group is out with a new report that says half of Americans could have diabetes or be on their way to getting it by 2020. By the end of the decade, the epidemic could more than double the current spending on diabetes and prediabetes patients to nearly $500 billion annually.
I finally decided to hold my nose and take the plunge -- bye-bye cable TV and landline phone, hello modern communications. And I picked a heck of an interesting time to do it.
Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.